Good to Great Indie/Low Budget Films

Here is list of good to great independent and/or low budget flicks. All movies made on a budget of $20,000,000 or less. In no particular order:
View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
Primer (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Four friends/fledgling entrepreneurs, knowing that there's something bigger and more innovative than the different error-checking devices they've built, wrestle over their new invention. (77 mins.)
Director: Shane Carruth
“ $7,000 - Abe, it's my garage, okay? It's not like they're paying rent. ” - BulletProofPoet
 
2.
Pi (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A paranoid mathematician searches for a key number that will unlock the universal patterns found in nature. (84 mins.)
“ $60,000 - Restate my assumptions: One, Mathematics is the language of nature. Two, Everything around us can be represented and understood through numbers. Three: If you graph the numbers of any system, patterns emerge. Therefore, there are patterns everywhere in nature. ” - BulletProofPoet
 
3.
Lost in Translation (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A faded movie star and a neglected young woman form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo. (102 mins.)
Director: Sofia Coppola
“ $4,000,000 - You're probably just having a mid-life crisis. Did you buy a Porsche yet? ” - BulletProofPoet
 
4.
The Usual Suspects (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A sole survivor tells of the twisty events leading up to a horrific gun battle on a boat, which began when five criminals met at a seemingly random police lineup. (106 mins.)
Director: Bryan Singer
“ $6,000,000 - That guy is tense. Tension is a killer. I used to be in a barbershop quartet in Skokie, Illinois. The baritone was this guy named Kip Diskin, big fat guy, I mean, like, Orca fat. ” - BulletProofPoet
 
5.
Memento (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A man juggles searching for his wife's murderer and keeping his short-term memory loss from being an obstacle. (113 mins.)
“ $5,000,000 - I always thought the joy of reading a book is not knowing what happens next. ” - BulletProofPoet
 
6.
American Beauty (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A sexually frustrated suburban father has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter's best friend. (122 mins.)
Director: Sam Mendes
“ $15,000,000 - OK honey, I won't be weird. I'll be whatever what you want me to be. ” - BulletProofPoet
 
7.
The Machinist (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
An industrial worker who hasn't slept in a year begins to doubt his own sanity. (101 mins.)
Director: Brad Anderson
“ $5,000,000 - Stevie, I haven't slept in a year. ” - BulletProofPoet
 
8.
American History X (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A former neo-nazi skinhead tries to prevent his younger brother from going down the same wrong path that he did. (119 mins.)
Director: Tony Kaye
“ $10,000,000 - Well, this country is becoming a haven for criminals so what do you expect? You know, decent hard-working Americans like my dad are getting rubbed out by social parasites. ” - BulletProofPoet
 
9.
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
The drug-induced utopias of four Coney Island people are shattered when their addictions run deep. (102 mins.)
“ $4,500,000 - What's the matter, you particular all the sudden? ” - BulletProofPoet
 
10.
Donnie Darko (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after he narrowly escapes a bizarre accident. (113 mins.)
Director: Richard Kelly
“ $4,500,000 (Watch the theatrical version) - 28 days... 6 hours... 42 minutes... 12 seconds. That... is when the world... will end. ” - BulletProofPoet
 
11.
Sling Blade (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Karl Childers, a simple man hospitalized since his childhood murder of his mother and her lover, is released to start a new life in a small town. (135 mins.)
“ $1,000,000 - I read the Bible quite a bit. I can't understand all of it, but I reckon I understand a good deal of it. Them stories you and Mama told me ain't in there. You ought not done that to your boy. I studied on killing you. Studied on it quite a bit. But I reckon there ain't no need for it if all you're gonna do is sit there in that chair. You'll be dead soon enough and the world 'll be shut of ya. You ought not killed my little brother, he should've had a chance to grow up. He woulda had fun some time. ” - BulletProofPoet
 
12.
The Signal (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
A horror film told in three parts, from three perspectives, in which a mysterious transmission that turns people into killers invades every cell phone, radio, and television. (103 mins.)
“ $50,000 - I'm sorry. I couldn't trust anybody. I went looking for you. I couldn't find *beep* Everybody's either dead, dying, or completely flipped. Mad. Crazy. ” - BulletProofPoet
 
13.
Raising Arizona (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
When a childless couple of an ex-con and an ex-cop decide to help themselves to one of another family's quintuplets, their lives become more complicated than they anticipated. (94 mins.)
Director: Joel Coen
“ $6,000,000 - I'll be taking these Huggies and whatever cash ya got. ” - BulletProofPoet
 
14.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Three film students vanish after traveling into a Maryland forest to film a documentary on the local Blair Witch legend, leaving only their footage behind. (81 mins.)
“ $60,000 - OK, here's your motivation. You're lost, you're angry in the woods, and no one is here to help you. There's a witch and she keeps leaving *beep* outside your door. There's no one here to help you! She left little trinkets, you took one of them, she ran after us. There's no one here to help you! We walked for 15 hours today, we ended up in the same place! There's no one here to help you, THAT'S your motivation! THAT'S YOUR MOTIVATION! ” - BulletProofPoet
 
15.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
When their relationship turns sour, a couple undergoes a procedure to have each other erased from their memories. But it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with. (108 mins.)
Director: Michel Gondry
“ $20,000,000 - Can you hear me? I don't want this any more! I want to call it off! ” - BulletProofPoet
 
16.
Office Space (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Three company workers who hate their jobs decide to rebel against their greedy boss. (89 mins.)
Director: Mike Judge
“ $10,000,000 - Excuse me, I believe you have my stapler... ” - BulletProofPoet
 
17.
The Big Lebowski (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
"The Dude" Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire Lebowski, seeks restitution for his ruined rug and enlists his bowling buddies to help get it. (117 mins.)
Director: Joel Coen
“ $15,000,000 - Maude Lebowski: What do you do for recreation?
The Dude: Oh, the usual. I bowl. Drive around. The occasional acid flashback. ” - BulletProofPoet
 
18.
Mad Max (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
In a self-destructing world, a vengeful Australian policeman sets out to stop a violent motorcycle gang. (88 mins.)
Director: George Miller
“ $350,000 - The chain in those handcuffs is high-tensile steel. It'd take you ten minutes to hack through it with this. Now, if you're lucky, you could hack through your ankle in five minutes. Go. ” - BulletProofPoet
 
19.
Being John Malkovich (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A puppeteer discovers a portal that leads literally into the head of movie star John Malkovich. (112 mins.)
Director: Spike Jonze
“ $13,000,000 - Guy in Restaurant: 'Scuse me.
John Malkovich: Mm-hmm?
Guy in Restaurant: Are you John Malkovich?
John Malkovich: Yes, I am.
Guy in Restaurant: Wow! You're really, uh, great in that movie...
John Malkovich: Oh?
Guy in Restaurant: ...where you play that retard.
John Malkovich: Oh, thank you very much. Thank you.
Guy in Restaurant: I have a cousin... who's a retard.
John Malkovich: Oh, thank you.
Guy in Restaurant: Yeah. So, um... as you might imagine, it... means a lot to me to see... retards... portrayed, uh, on the silver screen so compassionately.
John Malkovich: Well, thank you very much, I appreciate it. ” - BulletProofPoet
 
20.
The Evil Dead (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons. (85 mins.)
Director: Sam Raimi
“ $350,000 - I know now that my wife has become host to a Kandarian demon. I fear that the only way to stop those possessed by the spirits of the book is through the act of... bodily dismemberment. ” - BulletProofPoet
 
21.
Evil Dead II (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The lone survivor of an onslaught of flesh-possessing spirits holes up in a cabin with a group of strangers while the demons continue their attack. (84 mins.)
Director: Sam Raimi
“ $3,600,000 - Then let's head on down into that cellar and carve ourselves a witch. ” - BulletProofPoet
 
22.
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
There is panic throughout the nation as the dead suddenly come back to life. The film follows a group of characters who barricade themselves in an old farmhouse in an attempt to remain safe from these flesh eating monsters. (96 mins.)
“ $114,000 - They're coming to get you, Barbara! ” - BulletProofPoet
 
23.
Cypher (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
An unsuspecting, disenchanted man finds himself working as a spy in the dangerous, high-stakes world of corporate espionage. Quickly getting way over-his-head, he teams up with a mysterious femme fatale. (95 mins.)
Director: Vincenzo Natali
“ $7,500,000 - Well, it might have taken me quite a while to get this point, Mr. Finster, but now that I'm here, I'm going to make the most of it. This is who I am, and this is what I want to do. ” - BulletProofPoet
 
24.
The Terminator (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A seemingly indestructible humanoid cyborg is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all costs. (107 mins.)
Director: James Cameron
“ $6,400,000 - I'll be back. ” - BulletProofPoet
 
25.
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically try to stop. (95 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
“ $1,800,000 - Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops. Uh, depending on the breaks. ” - BulletProofPoet
 
26.
Snatch (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Unscrupulous boxing promoters, violent bookmakers, a Russian gangster, incompetent amateur robbers, and supposedly Jewish jewelers fight to track down a priceless stolen diamond. (104 mins.)
Director: Guy Ritchie
“ $10,000,000 - Do you know what "nemesis" means? A righteous infliction of retribution manifested by an appropriate agent. Personified in this case by an 'orrible *beep* me. ” - BulletProofPoet